Despite all the distractions of the Smoky Mountains, it is time for some RV maintenance. As I approach nearly a year of living and traveling full-time in my RV, there are a few routine projects that need attention.
I’m trying to create some balance between the tug to hike and enjoy the Smokies versus the nagging little things I need to address on the RV. The upside is that I can make time to do both. The other priority is the 32 hours a week volunteering for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The volunteering is a great experience. Lots more to come on that. With no cell service or internet at my RV, please expect more sporadic blog posts over the next two months.
For those interested in RV Life, and not just the travels, here’s the first few projects I tackled a few RV maintenance projects:
There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.– President Theodore Roosevelt
Sanitize Fresh Water Tank
I have two options for water. One is to connect a hose to water provided at a campsite. The other is to fill the 35-gallon on-board water tank. Using the water tank is helpful when the campground has no water hookups or when stopping at a rest area, Walmart, or casino for the night.
I filled the water tank and added some bleach. With the water heater bypassed, I pumped water through all the plumbing and faucets. After a couple hours, drained all the water and rinsed a few times.
That sanitizes the water tank and ensure fresh water for another few months.
RV Water Heater
Continuing with the water system, I drained the water heater and flushed it out multiple times to ensure any sediment in the bottom of the tank flowed out.
Additionally, just like most residential water heaters there is an anode rod. The anode rod is designed to deteriorate which protects the rest of the tank from the corrosive damage of the hot water.
Therefore, a new anode replaced the old one and that should be good for probably another year.
Some surface rust had developed on the steps. I cleaned, sanded and used a small grinder attachment on my Dremel tool to clean all the rust. Another good cleaning and once it dried it was ready to be coated.
The truck bed liner spray was perfect. Provided a nice new black finish, but also left a slightly textured surface which works well for steps.
The steps look like new, but are also protected from future rust.
Clean and Organize
The front cap of the fifth wheel takes the brunt of the smashed bugs when driving. It needed a good cleaning, and I was able to complete it just before a long rain, so between my scrubbing and the rain it should be looking good.
I took the opportunity to pull all the plastic bins out of the basement storage area. Cleaned and sanitized everything with bleach. When hooking up and moving in all types of weather, these bins seem to collect some grime.
Cleaned and inspected all my cords and sprayed some electrical cleaner on all the connections.
Summer is here and I was glad to clean and pack away my heated water hose. The heated hose worked great over the winter to prevent my water from freezing, but is awkward to handle and difficult to coil. Packed away for next winter.
That’s the extent of my RV maintenance for now, but I still have a list to work through. It feels good to take care of my home!
While in the Gatlinburg, TN public library for the internet access, it was fun to see my book on their shelves: Clingmans Dome Revealed
Please feel free to follow/connect with Brad Saum: